Monday, October 03, 2005

Czech Academic Titles

Have you ever wondered why so many Czechs tend to include their academic titles (e.g. B.A., M.A.) in their names in official as well as informal communication? Do you find it strange if your Czech neighbour has his name on the doorbell in the following format? -
Ing. Mgr. Jan Koutek, CSc.

Czechs will do their utmost to advertise their academic titles. A strange phenomenon, if you consider that this tradition thrived during communism which preached equality amongst people and looked suspiciously at intelligentsia. One of the reasons for this peculiar sticking to titles could be the plebeian character of Czech society - a society that virtually lacks any native nobility or aristocracy and where titles, if only academic, may supplant the desired social status. Czech society still tends to give a great value to academic titles and whoever can boast of any title gained at an insignificant institution in an obscure field will be granted, or rather expects, respect from the others. The fact is that there are still too few people going to universities due to limited availability of university education and universities continue to be accessible only for a relatively small number of young people. Czech Republic has thus one of the lowest proportions of university educated populace in Europe (approx. 12%).

Below are some of the most common academic titles that anybody with a more serious interest in familiarizing with Czech culture should understand:

Mgr. - magistr – MA
RNDr. - doktor – specialization in sciences
Ing. - inženýr – MSc
CSc. - kandidát věd –after name, not awarded anymore
PhDr. - doktor – a "lesser" form of PhD, doctor of philosophy
DrSc. - doktor věd –after name, not awarded anymore
JUDr.- doktor juris – legal specialization
Doc. - docent – associate professor
MUDr. - doktor – medical doctor
Prof. - profesor - professor

For full listing of Czech academic titles click here.

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